Small in stature but huge for its scenery and geology. It might have started out as a small port importing limestone and coal for the coal kiln and exporting local produce and slate from small quarries but, has evolved into a delightful coastal village with much to offer those visiting. Regardless of the direction you approach Crackington Haven, you are awarded spectacular views from the coastal footpath.
It is the ideal destination for those that prefer the great outdoors being in an area of natural outstanding beauty. There is lots on offer, walking, rambling, geology, wildlife or purely relaxing amongst gorgeous scenery are a taste of what awaits visitors to this delightful area of Cornwall.
The village remains pretty unspoiled and still has remnants harking back to its humble beginnings, look out for evidence of the donkey path that will take you down to Strangle Stone Beach where, sand, stone and slate were gathered. Take time to visit the charming tea rooms or the popular pub.
Crackington Haven Beach is a delightfully enclosed cove offering sheltered bathing, it is towered over by majestic cliffs, with a stony foreshore but, provides a stretch of fine golden sand when the tide is out as well as many rock pools to explore, a natural arch and many other points of interest. It is a steep trek down winding pathways and steps to reach the beach, there is even a length of rope to hold on to at the bottom. Owing to its difficult access it is a relatively quiet beach and is particularly popular with surfers. A seasonal dog ban does operate on this beach so please be aware.
For those interested in Geology you will not be disappointed with Crackington Haven, it even has a geological phenomenon named after it; the Crackington Formation, a fractured shale that was shaped and twisted by the movements of the Earth millions of years ago into an incredibly twisted forms.
The cliffs on the north and south of Crackington, notably at St Gennys and Rusey, have fascinating visible geological exposures, with the best example of strata crimped into impressive zig-zags at Milook. Here the rock convenes with the sea, where the waves are victorious in battle; landslips are prevalent, and the cliff slopes are slanted with ledges and platforms indicating past slippages.
One mile south of Crackington is High Cliff, standing proud at 735ft (ca. 224 m) high and being Cornwall's highest cliff with, a sheer drop to the rocky foreshore.
Atop the cliff tops and slopes is a rich vegetation providing habitats for a number of bird species, such as linnet, whitethroat, meadow pipet, skylark, dunnet and stonechat, in addition to larger birds like jackdaws, magpies and kestrels.
The steep valleys in the summer months are home to a number of species of butterfly not least, the red admiral, ringlet, gatekeeper and meadow brown.
The seas also boast a rich wildlife being, home to the Atlantic grey seals, that can be often seen playing in the waters. You may be lucky and see bottle-nosed dolphins and basking sharks.
Beauty abounds here and is best seen on foot. To the north of Crackington is the remote and tranquil Dizzard Forest, with its tinkling streams and sunny meadows. You may even glimpse some deer.
Numerous footpaths allow you to explore and discover the delights of this pretty coastal town and its surrounding areas.
To the north is Penkenna Point here lies St Gennys Church, from here there are astounding views towards Bude, Morwenstow and Lundy Island. The churchyard is also the final resting place of shipwrecked mariners and maybe a few smugglers.
A little over a mile inland are the well formatted Treworgie Barton Woodland Trails.
Also, worth a visit whilst in the area is Trevigue, a slate and stone farmhouse dating back to the 16th century along with some more recent alterations. It continues to be a working farm and has won awards for nature conservation. It is nationally acclaimed in the hospitality trade and visitors can enjoy a delicious meal here whilst, soaking up the scenery.
Although stunning in the summer the winter comes with its own charms, the peace and the fierce Atlantic gales and days of mist and rain provide a complete different perspective to this charming coastal village.